Vampires Vs. The Bronx – review (Netflix)

Brief synopsis: A teenager in the Bronx is trying to save the neighbourhood from gentrification and a shady company buying up the buildings in the area. When he discovers that the company is a front for vampires moving into the area, he and two friends are determined to save the neighbourhood. 

Is it any good?: Unfortunately, no. Vampires Vs. The Bronx has a simple and promising premise that is weakly executed. The young leads are good but not great and the script is not as funny as it thinks it is. The film starts off well enough but gets poorer through its runtime. A pity. 

Spoiler territory: Vivian (Sarah Gadon) goes to Becky’s (Zoe Saldaña) nail salon. She tells Becky, as she is having her nails manicured, that she is moving to the Bronx. Becky tells her that she is moving out, selling up her business that very night. 

Manicure finished, Vivian is leaving as Frank (Shea Whigham) enters the salon. Frank has brought some papers for Becky to sign so as she can sell the salon. Flirty banter is exchanged as Becky signs the papers and tells Frank that he is welcome to visit her in the suburbs when she settles. He asks her if she has a husband or boyfriend. Becky says she does not. A minute later, Becky is attacked and killed by a vampire. 

The next day, Miguel (Jaden Michael) is putting up posters for a block party he is organising to try and save the neighbourhood. Gloria (Imani Lewis) is filming a live vlog, telling the world about what is happening in the neighbourhood and how businesses are selling up. She notes how many disappearances there have been of late even as the neighbour is seemingly becoming more upwardly mobile. 

In the local convenience store, Tony (Joel ‘The Kid Mero’ Martinez) greets Miguel and complements his block party poster. Tony is not too convinced that the party is worth the effort but he allows Miguel to put up his poster. Bobby (Gerald W. Jones III), comes to meet Miguel. 

Outside the store, the two boys run into Rita (Coco Jones), who is with a couple of her friends. Rita and her friends are older than the two boys but Bobby, knowing Miguel has a crush on Rita, has told the girls that they can get them tickets for the block party. 

Miguel, momentarily caught out by his friend’s ruse, eventually comes around and tells Rita that he can get her tickets. He is, he feels, looking good in front of the girls until his mother, Carmen (Judy Marte), shouts for him from their apartment window. 

The two boys go to meet up with another friend, Luis (Gregory Dias IV). They notice that Becky’s nail salon has also been bought by the same company that is buying all the businesses; Murnau. The local priest, Father Jackson (Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith), sees the boys together. He warns them to stay out of trouble. 

Henny (Jeremie Harris), a local gangbang leader, drives up with his crew. He talks briefly to Bobby. Miguel asks Bobby why he was talking to Henny. Bobby tells him that Henny wanted him to do something but he refused. The three boys keep walking and run into Vivian. They think she is lost but she tells them that she just moved into the neighbourhood. 

The boys move on. They see that the local courthouse has been sold to the same developers. Bobby persuades Luis to plays videos games with him at Tony’s and the two leave Miguel, who says he is going to keep putting up posters. 

Still at the courthouse, Miguel sees some strange figures. He rides off quickly, turning a corner and crashing into Slim (Germar Tarrell Gardner), one of Henny’s crew, causing him to spill a drink on himself. Miguel retrieves his bike and rides off. Slim, embarrassed in front of his friends, pursues him. 

Miguel turns down an alley and goes up a ramp. Slim, unable to see him, shouts a warning. Slim sees another man, Alexis (Adam David Thompson). Alexis walks towards him. Slim pulls a gun. Alexis looks at him, hypnotising him and attacks him. Alexis is a vampire. Miguel, who is watching the scene unfold between the two men, sees everything. 

Miguel flees to Tony’s store. He runs into the store, frantic and telling a surprised Tony, Bobby and Luis that Slim has been killed by a vampire. Before he can explain what he has seen, Alexis comes into the store. He buys hand sanitiser and leaves. Miguel takes the others back to the alley but Slim’s body is gone. 

Elsewhere, Frank is getting rid of Slim’s body for Alexis. The next day, Miguel meets up with his friends. He wants to investigate the vampires. Luis is inclined to believe him but Bobby thinks he is crazy. They go to Tony’s store and watch the film Blade, the Marvel superhero film about a being who is half-human, half-vampire and hunts vampires. 

Luis gives them the lowdown on vampire rules. The boys go to the Murnau offices to try and investigate. They meet with Frank. He has one of Miguel’s block party posters. The boys feel trapped but the meeting is interrupted as Luis pretends to pass out and Vivian turns up for a meeting. Booby steals a small document bag from Frank’s office. At Bobby’s home, the boys find a flash drive in the document bag. On the drive, they find a plan for a large vampire crypt. The work out that it is the old court building. Also in the bag is a strange, black key. 

They break into the building and find the vampires but Bobby’s phone wakes them up and the boys are forced to flee but not before they think they have filmed the vampires. The boys get apprehended by the police as they flee the building. 

The police tell them that they are going to see Frank, to see if he wants to press charges. Miguel shows the video to locals gathered around Frank’s offices having heard about the boys being picked up. 

The vampires do not show up on the video. Miguel challenges Frank to come out into the daylight, hoping to prove that vampires exist. Frank comes out of his office to meet the crowd and address Miguel. The boys are forced to give back the document bag. The boys’ parents and family come and drag them home, Frank having agreed to let the matter rest. 

Frank returns to his office and get out a small box. He looks for the black key in the document bag. It has gone. An angry Carmen tells Miguel that they are going to church. Frank goes to sees Henny. He wants him and his crew to cause more disruption in the neighbourhood so as the more stubborn residence will sell. He also wants him to retrieve the key and kill the boys. 

Bobby ignores Miguels calls, Luis and Miguel are forced to attend church by their respective guardians. Henny comes to recruit Bobby. At the church, Miguel plans to steal some holy water. Vivian goes to see Tony. She is looking for Miguel. When she is about to leave, Tony notices he cannot see her on the CCTV. She is a vampire. Vivian kills Tony. 

Back in the church, Miguel and Luis sneak into the priest’s office to steal holy water whilst the congregation is praying. The two escape the church with the holy water but are caught by Rita. Bobby is regretting his decision to follow Henny when he finds out they are working for Frank. Henny also wants to know where Miguel and Luis are. Bobby makes an excuse and sneaks out of the bathroom window. 

Miguel, Luis and Rita see Tony’s place boarded up. Bobby finds them at the store. Henny and his crew find all of the kids at the store. They escape out of the back but run into Alexis and three other vampires. They run into the street and encounter Vivian. Not knowing she is a vampire, they tell her that she is in danger. 

Henny and his crew shoot Alexis and his fellow vampires. The vampires, unaffected by the bullets, kill them. Vivian takes all the kids to Carmen’s apartment. Bobby notices she cannot come into the apartment. He works out she must be a vampire as they cannot enter a place unless they are invited. 

Vivian reveals to them she is a vampire and threatens to drain them like Tony unless they give her the key. Miguel throws holy water on Vivian, causing her to retreat. Vivian meets up with the other vampires and Frank. He has bought the building that Carmen lives in, so the vampires own it and no longer need an invitation to enter. 

The next day, Miguel, Bobby, Luis and Rita, head to the courthouse building to kill the vampires before nightfall. In the courthouse building, they find Vivian’s sarcophagus empty. Rita leaves to get reinforcements. The others search the building and find them hanging from the ceiling in one of the upper rooms. 

Miguel stakes one of them, killing him. The rest of them wake up. Bobby kills a second one. The remaining three come to attack. Vivian gets the key back, Miguel having left his backpack in the confusion. She tells them that with the contents of the box she can create more vampires. The boys escape. One of them grabs Luis. Luis gives him a sacrament wafer, killing him. Only Vivian and Alexis remain. 

Frank tries to stop the boys but Bobby appeals to his human side. Vivian kills Frank. The two vampires chase the boys. Luis splits from the other two. Alexis catches up with Luis. Luis manages to kill him with his broken skateboard. Vivian catches up with the other two. She is about to kill Miguel but is confronted by the locals. 

As they attack her, Vivian is easily besting them. She grabs Bobby and is about to turn him into a vampire. Miguel rides into her and stakes her through the heart. A couple of weeks later, the block party goes ahead and is a success. The crew promise to be on the lookout for any further vampires. The end. 

Final thoughts: Vampires Vs. The Bronx is an intermittently okay film. With a story by Osmany Rodriguez, who also directs and a screenplay by Blaise Hemingway, the film sparkles occasionally through the script. All the usual vampire tropes are observed, bringing nothing new to the genre at all. 

From the look of the film, Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer is obviously a big influence. As that is one of this reviewers favourite television shows of all time, this film was always likely to compare unfavourably to the brilliance of Buffy. And so it proves. 

At only eighty-five minutes long, Vampires Vs. The Bronx is a short film but because it loses momentum and lacks urgency, with the vampire threat peripheral for much of the film, it feels longer than it should.

Gadon’s Vivian is so obviously the villain that Christmas being in December is more of a surprise. The actors do well with the material on offer but there is a definite unevenness to the script with the likes of Lewis’ Gloria and other minor characters working better, even though they are mostly just for comedic banter. 

Vampires Vs. The Bronx is not terrible but perhaps would have worked better as a series, allowing the characters to grow more. Unfortunately, the film is just an okay effort that is neither horror, comedy or drama, instead a confusing mishmash of all three. One to give a miss.

Killer Cove -Netflix(review)

Brief synopsis: dealing with a disgruntled ex-husband after her divorce, a woman’s life is thrown into more turmoil when she is stalked by a hooded stranger. A chance meeting with a handsome private investigator seems to turn her life about but all is not as it seems with the Romeo private eye.

Is it any good?: It’s called Killer Cove on Netflix, which is just as bad as its original title, Fear Bay. I think they probably just put in a few adjectives and nouns into an online title generator and came up with those, suffice to say the film is awful. The best I can say about this film is it was in focus and the beach house is nice.

Spoiler territory: Linda (Haley Webb) is helped by colleague and friend, Carrie (Cathy Baron) whilst putting a tiny rocking chair into the back of a van. The women chat about the owner, Bob (Roy Souza), and how he is having to let staff go having let ‘Peter’, who was really nice, go. Yes, it is that kind of script.

Anyhoo, the women keep chatting, Carrie worrying about what is going to happen when they get laid off, even though it was only a stop-gap job, taken because they had been laid off from their real jobs. So, irreplaceable they are not. Bob, the owner of the hell hole – Bayside Antique shop – they are currently employed in, comes and interrupts their griping.

The cad, asks them to do an inventory. Carrie tells him they are going away for the weekend and Linda notes there are only four hours left before they close. Utter bastard that Bob is, he reminds the ladies that times are tight and he needs it done. That told them.

As Linda counts plates, Eric (Jason Alan Smith), her ex-husband, comes to see her. He has left her multiple voicemails, why hasn’t she got back to him? Did she think he wouldn’t notice she had put up the price of the house – way over market value apparently – he needs her to sell the house so as he can get his share of the money.

He tells her to drop the price and leans in threateningly. His crass coercion is interrupted by Carrie, who tells him that if he is not shopping he will have to leave. She threatens to get the manager. Eric leaves but not before telling Linda to drop the price of the house. Later, as she and Carrie enjoy after-work drinks at a local bar, Linda admits that she should drop the price.

Carrie, psychobabble genius that she is, tells her she is hanging on to the house because it is the only thing she can control at the moment. Does she want to live in a home she purchased with her ex-husband? Linda says she does not. Carrie, wise one that she is, tells her to sell the house, take the money and move to the West Coast and find another job.

Linda is not so sure she would fare any better away from Bayside. Carrie, segwaying into a cheerleader, tells her that she is a brilliant interior designer and her resume is brilliant. Linda mentions that she is turning no heads at the moment, which turns out to be the perfect opening for pretty, luscious locked Tony (Donny Boaz), to crash into the conversation.

His good looks seem to immediately make Carrie’s panties moist, even though it is perfectly clear that he is only interested in Linda. Happy to be an unwanted wing-woman, Carrie encourages the union. Tony tells them he is a private investigator. Linda, who after quipping with the sleuth decides she is tired, gets up to leave. Tony gives her his card, in case she might require his services. As she leaves, Linda notices a man in a hoodie (Shawn Fitzgibbon) watching her. He makes no attempt to hide his shady nature.

Linda goes into a convenience store and sees the dodgy – and podgy – hoodie guy. She confronts him. He denies following her and tells her she is crazy before scurrying off guiltily. Back home, in her house by the beach, Linda is out on the back porch and sees a figure watching the house from the beach. She runs into the house, up the stairs – it’s a big house – and gets her mobile to call the police. No landline in her massive house then.

The police come and take some notes but do nothing beyond that. The next day, she is telling Carrie about the incident. Carrie, remembering that she is always required to give sage advice that is ignored, tells her that maybe it is a sign and she should move. Linda, plucky woman that she is and a little bit stupid, says she does not want to be forced out of her home.

Hoodie stalker man turns up at her workplace. He tells her that he knows her name and that of her friend Carrie, as well as where they both live. The appearance of Bob causes hoodie guy to run off. Linda calls the police again. This time a detective – it has happened twice you know – Groves (Owen Miller), is on the case.

Groves tells Linda that they will look out for the guy. She wants to know if they can’t do more to find the podgy guy in a hoodie, the only description she could have given him. Groves tells her no, they do not have enough information to identify the man. Shocking. She tells him she does not feel safe. He apologises but points out the bleedin’ obvious, telling her that they have other crimes to attend to.

Linda asks him if she should hire a private investigator – no idea where she might find one of them – Groves cautions against it, saying they tend to be more trouble than they are worth. Of course, totally ignoring the detective’s advice, Linda goes to see Tony. She tells him her concerns and also tells him she was advised against getting a private investigator.

Can he help her? Tony, flowing locks and twinkly smirk, assures her he can. The two come to an arrangement, Tony reducing his fee for her because he does not like stalkers and finds her kind of hot, though he does not say the last bit. Linda returns to her vast beach house, calling Carrie to tell her that she has hired Tony. This news makes Carrie especially giddy. It has no impact on the plot.

As evening falls, hoodie guy waits outside Linda’s house. He approaches the house armed with a tyre iron. Tony springs into action. Hoodie guy hits him with the tyre iron but that barely slows Tony down, who punches him a few times and grabs his wallet out of his back pocket. Turns out his name is Carl. Tony then gives Carl a beatdown and leaves him unconscious and concussed on the beach.

Tired from his exertions, he knocks on Linda’s back porch glass door. Linda comes to the aid of the slightly disheveled Tony. He asks her if she knows a Carl Ruston? She does not. Does not matter, he won’t be coming around anymore. Linda gets some ice for Tony’s bloodied knuckles and a t-shirt of her ex-husband’s because Tony’s got torn in his scuffle – no idea how that happened.

She gives him a salmon-coloured polo, saying she thinks it will fit, obviously forgetting how much smaller her husband was than Tony. It fits of course. This is not a clever film.

Linda wants to call the police but Tony dissuades her, telling her it could be awkward for him if they got involved, him having assaulted Carl. The two are chatting when the doorbell rings. Linda is not expecting anyone. She answers the door. It’s Eric. He is still raging about the non-selling house. He needs his money.

As they argue, Eric gets a little aggressive, grabbing Linda’s arm. Tony intervenes telling him not to grab her. Eric tries to punch Tony and gets head-butted for his troubles. Eric leaves, his manhood bruised. Linda, who seemed to have missed the whole Eric-throwing-a-punch moment, comments that Tony did not have to hit him in the face. Only someone who has never had to hit someone would say that. Should he have hit his shoulder?

Tony understands her disquiet and leaves. The next day at work, Linda is recounting the night to her therapist, sorry, I mean Carrie. Carrie thinks it is a good thing. Tony has taken care of the two things in her life that had been bothering her. Linda is not so sure. There was something about the intensity in his eyes. So there is that.

Linda says she does not think she will see him again. Tony immediately walks into the shop. Carrie makes herself scarce. Tony asks Linda out to dinner as he wants to apologise for causing her problems. She accepts. Somebody – and having seen the entire film I still cannot work out who – is watching Eric.

Tony calls to take Linda to dinner. He takes her for a picnic on the beach. She is, surprisingly, impressed by this romantic gesture. Surprisingly I say, because she lives by the beach. Her ex-husband must have been a real dolt never to have done that before! On the beach, Linda tells Tony about how she came to be in Bayside, get into interior design and meet Carrie. Yawn.

They get amorous on the beach as the sun goes down. The next day, Groves goes to Eric’s home. His home has been vandalised. He doesn’t think it’s a robbery. He tells Groves about Tony, saying he does not think he likes him and that he broke his nose. At Bayside Antiques, a chipper Linda strolls into work. Carrie wants to know how the date went but Bob, the slave driver, wants her to work.

Groves comes to see Linda. She tells him about Tony and tells him that Tony hit Eric in self-defence. Groves and Tony have history. Groves does not trust Tony and tells Linda as much. The detective leaves. Linda calls Tony to tell him about her encounter with Groves. Groves goes to see Tony. He tells him that he can see a repeat of the previous encounter and he would be happy to lock him up. He asks him what happened to Carl. Tony tells him that the police presence must have scared him away.

Eric goes to the store and harasses Linda about Tony. He tells her he is going to sue her because she will not sell the house, even though it’s for sale. Bob chases a young man out of the store as Eric storms off. The young man stole a watch and Bob asks Linda why she did not stop him or see him. She apologises. Bob wants to know why Eric was there. Another personal issue? He fires her because it is the reasonable thing to do.

Tony turns up outside of the store to surprise her but Linda tells him she wants to be alone. She drives home. Tony comes to her home and grabs her, bending her arm up behind her back. He tells her to fight, to not be a victim. She looks at a kitchen knife. Doesn’t grab it but she looks. She pushes him away. He tells her that it hurts him when she does not fight, that she needs to take control of her life.

Tony tells her he was just helping her to find her inner strength but he will now leave. She stops him. Apparently twisting a woman’s arm is a bit of an aphrodisiac and she wants him. I’ll never understand women. I digress.

Tony spends the night. The next day, Linda asks why Groves does not like him. Tony tells her it is because of an old case in which an abusive spouse killed his wife and disappeared after he found out she had hired Tony. Groves, according to Tony, did a bad job in the investigation. Eric goes to get in his car. When he clicks the key fob, his car blows up.

Carrie comes to see her, now unemployed, friend. They hang out for the evening. Detective Groves comes and tells Linda that Eric’s car was blown up. He also tells her a different version of Tony’s story. He was having an affair with the client’s wife. He then tried to kill the client and the wife got caught in the crossfire. Their daughter saw the whole incident, ran off and got hit by a truck and died. The husband disappeared after that. Tony also has a background in explosives, having worked with them in the military.

Later in the evening, Tony sits outside her house listening to her and Carrie’s conversation having bugged the house. The two women decide to move to the West Coast, Carrie sick of working for Bob as well. Tony comes to see Linda. She gets Carrie to call the police from upstairs – maybe the signal only works upstairs in her house – and goes to speak to him.

Linda refuses to open the door but wants to know why he lied about his past. Tony tells her he was afraid that she would push him away. Carrie comes and tells Linda the police are on the way. Tony runs off. Carrie stays the night to keep Linda company. Linda cries at her own stupidity.

The next morning, Carrie leaves early to go and quit the antique store and begin packing her belongings. As Carrie walks back to her home, she is snatched by an unseen assailant. Linda cannot get hold of Carrie. She goes around to her home. She keeps calling her for the rest of the day. She falls asleep but is woken by a nightmare of Tony biting her like a vampire. She goes to switch a lamp on and finds the bug Tony planted.

Groves comes around in the morning and tells her they checked the entire house. There are no more bugs. Belatedly, Linda decides to mention that Carrie is missing to the detective. Groves asks if they discussed leaving town in the house. Yes. Linda realises that Tony must know and is convinced he is going to kill her. Linda goes back into her house, Groves leaves a few officers outside of her home.

She gets a call from Carrie. She is being held and Linda has to come to an abandoned warehouse. She is not to tell the police. Linda sneaks away from her home and goes to the warehouse. She finds Carrie tied up in the warehouse and frees her. Tony turns up with a gun and is looking around. Linda hits him with a brick and kicks him in the groin. She hits him again as he tries to speak to her. He drops the gun. A still disorientated Carrie tries to reach the gun but another man comes and kicks it out of her reach. He tasers Linda.

 Linda wakes first to find Eric holding her, Carrie and Tony captive. He had been embezzling money from his company and they had employed Tony to find out where the money was going. Eric realised Tony was onto him and planned to frame him for murder and get money from the sale of the house. He also had hired Carl to try and scare Linda.

As all this Scooby-Doo style exposition is going on, Tony gets a penknife out of his back pocket and begins to cut through his bonds. Eric decides he is going to kill Carrie first as he never liked her. Linda tells him if he kills Carrie she will tell the police everything. Eric says he will have to kill her too. What he was planning to do with her otherwise is anybody’s guess. Tony joins in the conversation, distracting him long enough to break his bonds. Free, he lunges and slices him with the knife.

They wrestle and fight. Eric knocks him to the floor and runs off. He leaves Tony with the gun. Kind of him. Tony frees Linda and goes after Eric, leaving Linda to free Carrie. Carrie is feeling fragile and can barely walk. They hear shots and Linda, leaving the weakened Carrie, runs towards them.

Eric has, somehow, gotten the gun again and an injured Tony is at his mercy. Eric hears Linda’s footsteps – how he knows it’s Linda and not Carrie is anybody’s guess – and begins to goad her. He points the gun at Tony. Linda creeps up on him and hits him with a breeze block.

Tony and Linda agree they are not going to work as a couple. Carrie staggers over and gets a hug. The police turn up later and give Carrie a robe whilst Groves asks a perfectly fine Linda about her physical state. An ambulance takes Tony to the hospital. Groves still thinks he’s dodgy.

Linda and Carrie pack up and leave town. Carl Ruston’s body washes up on the beach. Carrie asks Linda if she has heard from Tony since he left the hospital. Linda tells her she has not. She thinks he is trying to keep his distance. There is a bug in the car and as the car drives into the sunset, another car begins to follow them. The end.

Killer Cove is hokum and nonsense. The acting is bad, the script is worse and the premise somewhat nonexistent. There are red herrings thrown in almost by accident, a soundtrack that is pure television movie standard, half-finished characters and a script so bad I am surprised the writer, step forward James Palmer, a name strangely absent on the IMDB page for this film, let his name get on the credit roll at all.

Direction by Damian Romay is competent but nothing to rave about. This film is lazy even by made-for-television standards. You do not care about anybody in this film. Webb’s Linda is okay and you do not want her to get harmed but that is only because nobody likes a stalker.

Baron’s Carrie is in the film for exposition as is Miller’s Groves. I still have no idea who or why anybody was watching Smith’s Eric. All the acting in the film is rudimentary but it is hard to tell if they are all bad actors or if it is just that the script is so weak. I suspect it is the script.

Truth be told, I had pretty low expectations of the film – it’s called Killer Cove – and it has a score of four-point two, which I feel is a little generous. At eighty-seven minutes long, it is not a long film but it does not feel like a short one. Killer Cove is another wretched effort for the Netflix shite film graveyard. Avoid.

My Teacher, My Obsession – review (Netflix)

English teacher Chris Sumner (Rusty Joiner) and his daughter, Riley (Laura Bilgeri), move to a new town after Chris splits with Riley’s mother due to her having an affair. Riley, a bit of a loner, meets Kyla (Lucy Loken), another student who is also a loner, given to taking photos around the school campus.

Kyla sees Chris on his first day and takes a photo of him. Chris is an attractive man, something noted by Tricia (Alexandra DeBerry), the resident hot, popular girl at school. Kyla befriends Riley, even though she is besotted with her father. Kyla’s mother, Jess (Jana Lee Hamblin), begins to see a new man. It turns out to be Chris.

Kyla sees Tricia befriending Riley and gets jealous, warning her not to hang out with Tricia. Tricia tells Riley that Kyla is the bad one. Chris comes to take Jess out for a date. Kyla sabotages her mother’s date with Chris by spilling water on his clothes and suggesting that they have the date in the house.

Back at school, Kyla, having heard that Riley was hanging out with Tricia from her father, ignores Riley. Riley tries to talk to her but Kyla refuses. Kyla threatens Tricia. Her obsession with Chris is getting worse. She frames Tricia for bullying by planting pictures of herself in her locker, making people believe Tricia did it. She also steals Tricia’s mobile phone, sending sexual texts to Chris. Tricia gets expelled.

Riley gets her mother to look at Chris’ phone so as she can see the texts from Tricia’s phone. Jess splits up with Chris. Kyla immediately begins to seduce Chris. Kyla persuades Riley to have an eighteenth birthday party. At the party, Kyla seduces Chris in the bedroom. Riley walks in on them and is furious. Kyla’s goes up a level as she realises that Chris sees his daughter as more important than her.

How you like me now?

Riley tells Jess about her father and Kyla. Kyla tells her mother that she is jealous and that Chris is hers and they are in love. Chris tries to tell Kyla that they cannot work. She uses Tricia to get to him, framing her once again, this time for assault, breaking her own finger to make the attack look convincing. Tricia gets arrested.

In the hospital, Jess tells Kyla that she must not see Chris anymore. Riley tells her that her dad is going to stay away from her. Kyla believes that Chris still wants her, even as he tells her he has no interest in her. Chris tells her he is going to leave the school, as he realises her obsession is delusional. Kyla grabs a scalpel and leaves the hospital.

At the school, Kyla stabs Riley, telling her that Chris cannot have both of them in his life. She finds Chris in his office and threatens him with the scalpel, telling him that they can start a new family. He fights her off of him. She kicks out at him and he is knocked unconscious. A janitor, hearing the commotion, comes to check the office.

Kyla cuts his throat. She chases a still alive but bleeding Riley through the school corridors. They fight in the photography darkroom and Riley knocks her unconscious. The police and ambulance services turn up and take them all away.

Sometime later, Riley and Chris have moved again. Riley is going to college and Chris is about to start in a new post. As Riley drives off, Kyla pops out of the shadows. The end.

I want to shag your dad.

My Teacher, My Obsession is so much hokum. Obviously, with a title that bad, it was never going to be a masterwork or even passably good, but the filmmakers really did not even try to pretend they were making a good film.

Using the old “obsessive, stalker female” trope made famous by far better films—Play Misty For Me, Fatal Attraction, MiseryMy Teacher, My Obsession is so lazy that it is laughable. Loken’s Kyla does not even bother to begin as an even mildly normal student, introduced as a photo-snapping loner from the outset.

The moment she claps eyes on Joiner’s Chris, she is besotted. How her own mother seems to have no idea that her daughter is so mentally unstable is a little bit of a worry. Bilgeri’s Riley not noticing that Kyla seemed to have an unhealthy attraction to her father, even though Kyla was drooling every time she saw the man, is ridiculous.

Kyla’s genius—or the entire town’s stupidity—gets Tricia expelled and arrested, with nary a finger pointed in the direction of the crazed Kyla. Jess, prompted by her loony daughter, immediately thinks the worst of Chris just on the strength of a few texts.

Truth be told, all the glaring plot holes are not really an issue; the film and story, such as it is, is not aiming for coherence or even to make sense. Written by Patrick Robert Young, who I assume was drunk, and directed by Damian Romay, My Teacher, My Obsession, is an obsessive thriller by numbers, ticking boxes whilst bringing nothing at all new to the genre.

The acting is okay, with DeBerry’s Tricia probably being the best performance, which is saying a lot as she is on the screen for less than ten minutes. The rest of the actors are not bad, though they do seem to be acting, making their performances less appealing.

The climax of the film is rushed and makes a film that was already poor even worse, the script, which had not been particularly notable up until that point, taking a definite downturn in quality as Kyla goes fully homicidal crazy.

My Teacher, My Obsession is watchable for all of the wrong reasons. It will leave you incredulous at how bad it is, like a fake soap opera in a sitcom. If you are a fan of bad movies, you may enjoy My Teacher, My Obsession; otherwise, avoid.

Bad Film, Bad.

  Anyone with an interest in film, whether it is just watching them on occasion, a trip to the cinema or, like myself, have a passion for it, has definitely, at some point, suffered a turkey. This is especially true if you have a Netflix subscription. Really, where do they get some of those films from? It could be a blockbuster, tentpole movie – I walked out of Terminator Genisys forty minutes in. Nobody has enough life to suffer such a turd! – or a particularly bad made for television film when you see an unabashedly bad film it makes you wonder how it got made.

  This is more true of major films than of television films I feel. A couple of fresh-in-the-memory car crashes of major films I can think of, the aforementioned Terminator monstrosity and the tripe that was the last instalment of the Die Hard franchise – incidentally, both films starred Jai Courtney, a coincidence? I don’t think so! – obviously got made because they were sequels and brought a readymade audience. Sequels get made because, for those in the business of filmmaking, it is exactly that; a business. Sequels make money. What about other less than accomplished celluloid efforts, the ones that aren’t sequels, that have no obvious audience and are terrible, how do they get made? How do they not know they are terrible?

   I remember being an extra in a film in the early nineties. I was just part of a clubbing crowd, there to make up the numbers. I remember watching the proceedings and thinking, ‘this film looks awful.’ Unfortunately I turned out to be right. The film currently scores a middling 5.9 on IMDB. I was an extra, with no film experience, no knowledge of the process, but I knew the project wasn’t very good. If I knew, how did nobody else see it?

    Of course, there is also personal taste. The BBC have produced and churned out mildly amusing, but sometimes god awful, middle England comedy fare for decades. It is like watching comedy by numbers, yet it has an audience. The same could be said for their obsession with period dramas. For me personally, their fare is highly repetitive, of not necessarily of a poor standard, it just is horribly, lazily, safe.

    Personal taste aside, the question of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people working on some mediocre project in the hope that it will magically turn out well is confusing. For any budding screenwriter, with their tenth polished draft at the ready, looking to get their work even read by a production company, furthermore greenlit is an uphill struggle if one does not know somebody in the industry.

   There is that old staple, the cream always rises to the top, that is probably true. Unfortunately a lot of ‘cream’ is buried under vast volumes of crap.

   Say a good script does get through, which obviously happens occasionally, if the ‘creative vision’ of the director or producer, perhaps both, doesn’t gel with that of the writer, a great story can become another straight to streaming non-entity. Many a good story or book has become a terrible film. Anyone who has suffered through We Need To Talk About Kevin can attest to that.

   As the great screenwriter William Goldman said, nobody knows anything. Making a film, television show, short or even an advert is such a fickle and tenuous process. I have seen good films that have gained no real acclaim and bad films that have become almost classics. I have watched films and shows – as I am sure many a writer has – and wondered how such badly written things got made, cringing at cliched dialogue and lazy exposition.

   I suppose bad writing and acting and directing are needed, just so as we can appreciate the good and the great by comparison. Also, with the sheer volume of media needing to be filled, it cannot all be filled with reality shows and game shows. It seems we need bad films, even if for no other reason that to give me something to bitch about.

   Still, I not sure I’ll ever understand how a really bad film gets made when of all the artistic mediums, film requires the most collaboration.